Continuum Partners Gets Faster Approval for $2B Megaproject in Downtown L.A.

Ten-building project will add more than 1,500 housing units, 410,000 square feet of office space, 101,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and 68 hotel rooms

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put Continuum Partners’ massive $2 billion mixed-use development planned for Downtown Los Angeles on the fast track.

Newsom’s office announced Thursday plans to streamline approval of the 10-building project that will add 1,521 multifamily units — of which, at least 214 will be designated for low-income renters — along with 411,113 square feet of office space, 101,088 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and 68 hotel rooms. 

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Called Fourth & Central, the project would replace a cold-storage facility between Little Tokyo, the Arts District and Skid Row. The plan still needs L.A. City Council approval. But, with the governor’s certification via Senate Bill 7, any legal challenges brought against the project must be heard within 270 days — reduced from the typical timeline of three to five years. 

“For decades, we’ve let red tape stand in the way of these kinds of critical housing projects — and the consequences are in plain view all around us,” Newsom said in a statement. “Now we’re using California’s infrastructure law to build more housing, faster.”

“Through this important action, the governor is signaling to the market that he will stand behind well-conceived projects that thoughtfully address the state’s urgent housing challenges, climate and transportation issues, and provide for a living wage all at the same time,” Mark Falcone, founder of Continuum Partners, said in a statement sent to Commercial Observer. “The governor has been clear that he intends to lead the state forward to meaningfully address these issues and to spur the kind of investments California’s downtown centers will need over the next 10 years to recover their essential vitality.”

The housing portion of the project calls for 572 condominiums and 949 apartments, according to reporting from the L.A. Times. A representative for Continuum told the publication that the firm hopes to secure entitlements by the end of this year before embarking on a five- to seven-year construction plan.

Los Angeles Cold Storage Company has operated the site for close to 130 years.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.